Legendary Normal Motors designer goes out with a thud.
That is an installment in a collection of posts trying again on present vehicles that we really feel deserved slightly extra consideration than they acquired. When you have a suggestion for a Forgotten Idea matter, please shoot us a line or go away a remark beneath.
First Proven: Normal Motors Milford Proving Grounds in 1977
Description: Massive 2-passenger luxurious coupe
Gross sales Pitch: “An expression of non-public style, with out regard for division, or present shopper tendencies.”
Extra Forgotten Ideas
First seen on the Normal Motors Milford Proving Grounds in 1977, the Pontiac Phantom (company inner code title “Madame X”) was the creation of firm design chief Invoice Mitchell. Mitchell created the automobile as a retirement reward to himself, and conceived it as, “…an expression of non-public style, with out regard for (company) division, or present shopper tendencies.” Certainly, the Pontiac moniker was dropped from the car’s title in some unspecified time in the future in its growth.
Improvement of the Phantom was halted when then GM Vice President of Product Planning Howard Kehrl noticed the idea and demanded that it’s instantly faraway from the Milford facility. The Phantom was thus by no means fitted with an operational drivetrain.
Mitchell, who had been chargeable for such legendary GM designs as the primary Buick Riviera and Oldsmobile Toronado, in addition to the 1963 and 1968 Corvettes, had grown despondent as GM tailored to rising gasoline prices and altering purchaser tastes by downsizing its product line. Mitchell had described designing downsized vehicles as, “tailoring a swimsuit for a dwarf.”
Deemed by GM administration to be wildly out of step with the altering instances, the Phantom was by no means seen on the auto-show circuit, nor publicly displayed in any approach. The car was preserved, nonetheless, and is a part of GM’s company car assortment.
Forgotten Idea: Chrysler Phaeton
Invoice Mitchell crafted among the best-looking vehicles of the Sixties and Seventies, so it’s painful to consider him as in-decline and out of favor at long-time residence Normal Motors. Nonetheless, the Phantom is hard to have a look at, realizing how extremely tone deaf the design was.
By 1977, Normal Motors had redesigned its full-size B-Physique sedans and coupes, and the consequence was a collection of vehicles that have been trim, crisply rendered, and spot-on good for the instances. Mitchell’s lengthy, heavy-looking, and thickly sculpted Phantom appeared extra a product of 1967, not ’77, and had no place within the trendy GM lineup. Even the Deco-inspired wheel covers on the idea automobile appeared curiously from a unique period, if not epoch.
I’ll at all times be curious concerning the rectangular headlamps, that are the one aspect of the Phantom Idea which seem modern—and likewise appear in any other case at odds with the automobile’s general design.
Forgotten Idea: Dodge Super8 Hemi
Pontiac Phantom Idea Gallery
(Click on beneath for enlarged photos)
Forgotten Idea: Chrysler Chronos